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Regional Updates Going into the Weekend

August 7, 2020

It looks like we have a gorgeous weekend ahead of us, and we are hoping for safe and enjoyable dining across the region. As you utilize, expand and creatively rethink outdoor dining spaces, we are seeing more and more of you take advantage of the programs in place designed to provide expanded and additional outdoor options and space for your business. While some are getting into a good groove for outdoor service, others are just bringing their outdoor dining online, and I want you to know we are already looking towards the cooler months to make sure that any potential additions to your patios (such as heat lamps) will not provide any additional hurdles for your operations. 

We are excited to see that more than 175 of you are signed on for our Summer Restaurant Week promotion which will take place August 17-30 across the region, and which is reimagined to allow flexibility for all types of restaurants, diner preference, comfort level, and options. There is a lot of positive energy from consumers to be able to support their local restaurants through new avenues and media attention is strong for this reimagined program. It’s not too late to sign up, for just $10. If you are interested email

Heading into the weekend, we have a few regional and national updates to share with you. 

In DC, as a reminder starting on July 1st employees were able to start applying for benefits through Paid Family Leave (PFL). Employees have up to 8 weeks to bond with a new child, 6 weeks to care for a family member with a serious condition and 2 weeks to care for your own serious health condition. PFL will not exceed 8 weeks in a year. As an employer you are required to: 

  • Register/ Update their DOES account on Employer Self-Service Portal (ESSP) 
  • Provide notice about Paid Family Leave to their workers
  • File reports and pay contributions (you should have been doing this since 2019)
  • Covered employers must keep a physical poster (provided by DOES) at each worksite, in a place where labor notices are customarily posted. Click here for the poster.
  • Provide all workers with annual paper or electronic Paid Family Leave notice.
  • At the time of the hiring, employers must provide paper or electronic Paid Family Leave notice within 30 days of hiring. 
  • An employer must provide a Paid Family Leave notice whenever they are aware leave is needed. 

Click here for a helpful FAQ on COVID/PFL. Visit the Paid Leave Family website for more information. 

Also in DC, we have a virtual meeting with the DC Department of Transportation and the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture to discuss streateries, how to utilize public space creatively and outdoor dining and answer any outstanding questions you may have as you choose to move forward on 8/14 at 4pm. Please RSVP to Please note, you must be a RAMW restaurant member to participate.

In Maryland, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich updated his Executive Order regarding restrictions during the COVID-19. Included in the amended EO is food service establishments may not serve alcohol after 10 pm. This went into effect on August 5th. Click here for the full EO. 

In Virginia, the Rebuild Virginia Grant Program applications will be available on August 10, 2020 . The program will provide grants of up to three times the applicant’s average monthly eligible expenses up to a maximum award of $10,000. Businesses and nonprofits must be in good standing, have annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million, and have no more than 25 employees. Click here for more information and for training webinars on how to apply.  

On the national front, the National Restaurant Association has put together another helpful 2-minute video that provides a quick status update for what is happening on the federal relief front. Click here to watch the video and to take action. 

Also, I want to share an update on Business Interruption Insurance, as there have been exhaustive efforts within our organization, our community, and nationwide in trying to address fixes to a very complex issue.  

As you are aware, insurance policies, like leases, are contracts, and vary depending upon the particular insurance company and the coverage purchased. As contracts, they have protection under the Contracts Clause of the United States Constitution, meaning that a legislature cannot, in most cases, change the terms of the agreement after the fact. We’ve had several operators engaged with law firms who have been active in pursuing claims. Recent news from a Superior Court judge shot down a bid by a group of restaurants in the area to get coverage for business interruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. While this was disheartening news for our industry, we will continue to push through.  

RAMW also worked with leaders to craft and introduce legislation that would have made the judicial environment more friendly to claims, and again, although the bill did not pass, we will revisit and explore all possibilities and approaches.  We understand that if Business Interruption Insurance covered the pandemic it would provide a great financial relief for your business, but currently the available avenues are not sounding promising. We will continue to advocate on your behalf for meaningful relief measures both at the federal and local levels, but we wanted to share this specific update as we continue to receive many inquiries.

In closing, if you haven’t already, please take 3 minutes to fill out your census. This is one of the many ways each of you can demand real change and be counted. Click here to fill out your census and shape your future.  

Please have a wonderful and safe weekend, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions at

Be safe. Be kind. Wear a mask.